US

Army Employee Sentenced To 25 Years For Child Sex Crimes

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Mary Lou Lang Contributor

A 34-year-old civilian employee of the U.S. Army was sentenced on Monday to 25 years in prison for sex offenses against minor children.

Ian Joseph Ritzer of Sierra Vista, Ariz., while at work as a civilian employee of the Army, used the internet to meet young girls on social media and chat room websites, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

The DOJ indicated that they suspected Ritzer had over 100 victims.

Ritzer, pretending to be a minor child, communicated with girls by email and text messages. He then demanded that the young girls send him sexually explicit photos of themselves. Ritzer threatened to post their images, commit suicide or other forms of retribution if the girls did not comply with his requests.

Ritzer even traveled to Michigan to meet a 14-year-old the child with whom he was communicating.

Aside from the 25-year sentence, Ritzer will be under lifetime supervision which will include stringent sex offender conditions. He will also be required to register as a sex offender.

Ritzer had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of production of child pornography, one count of extortion, and one count of attempted enticement of a minor.

The case against Ritzer was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched 11 years ago by the Department of Justice.